Everyone Has Their 15 Minutes of Fame…Even a Wedding Toastmaster!!

It was Andy Warhole who coined the phrase, “Everyone has their 15 minutes of fame”. I must have been cheated because my ‘moment of fame’ lasted only three and a half minutes!

For some unexplained reason I was recently contacted by a representative of Elan Productions, a film company with a contract to make a series of short films called ‘Calon’ about life in modern day Wales. Somehow I had come to their attention and they wished to produce a programme about my work as a Toastmaster. The programme was filmed in March of this year and broadcast in Welsh on S4C on the 19th July.

Although the programme is not scheduled for re-broadcasting in the near future, it can still be viewed on S4C’s CLIC website for the next twenty days or so. Here is a link to the video.  Don’t worry if you can’t soeak Welsh – there are English subtitles available.

I hope to incorporate the film on my own website in the near future, as soon as the necessary permissions have been received…so watch this space!

Wedding Toastmaster Wales & the Border Counties
TostFeistr Cymru


Did you know….?

Did you know that Toastmasters originated in the times of the Roman Empire? Although beer was the beverage of the common people, wine was favoured by the ruling classes and at important events. The term ‘Toasting’  derived from the technique of dropping croutons into the bottle, the purpose being to attract the floating ‘bits’ in the normally unrefined wine.

The recognisable role of the modern Toastmaster, although claimed by the English to be an innate part of their heritage, was actually crafted by a Welshman, one Richard ‘Beau’ Nash, born in Swansea in 1674. After an education at Oxford and a period spent in the army Nash was appointed Master of Ceremonies for the town of Bath. This unofficial position involved matching dancing partners at balls, brokering marriages, escorting unaccompanied wives and the regulation of gambling. His ‘uniform’ comprised a coloured frock coat,knee breeches, black stockings and black , silver buckled shoes. A black cane would be used to bang on the floor to gain attention.  Despite the last element of his duties Nash was himself a notorious gambler and died in 1761, practically destitute.

Little changed until 1894 when Londoner  William Knightsmith, a well known Toastmaster, tired of being addressed as ‘waiter’ by people attending the various functions where he was working. Upon the advice of his wife he bought a new scarlet, long tailed coat, which granted him recognition and added dignity to his profession. Although initially considered eccentric by his peers, once it attracted the approval of The Prince of Wales at a banquet of civil engineers, they clamoured to get a copy of the design, and even to  borrow his own coat. Within a year, virtually all the Toastmasters in London were wearing the long tailed scarlet coat.

From Iwan A Wedding Toastmaster at Your Service

Across the whole of Wales & the border counties of Gloucestershire & Herefordshire

Getting married in South Wales? Visiting a Local Wedding Fayre May Help You.

wedding toastmaster wales advice on wedding fayres The end of February and the beginning of March saw a flurry of activity on the wedding fayre scene. I joined in the fun with appearances at The Ty Newydd Country Hotel, Hirwaun, the Morlais Golf Club, Merthyr Tydfil and The Countryman Inn, Pontyclun.

As I’ve mentioned before, these smaller events are quite different to the major ones, such as the one held in the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff at the end of January. All, however,  are equally valuable in their different ways for connecting with potential clients, with one offering a more intimate approach compared to the rush and manic atmosphere of the latter. The three recent fayres also had the added advantage of being on my home turf allowing me to network with other wedding suppliers whom I might not otherwise meet.

It is gratifying to see that the brides of the S. Wales Valleys haven’t been forgotten by organisers such as the Three Valleys Bridal Fayres who are also doing their bit to promote local small businesses. The fayre at the Countryman is, however, run by the management of this truly delightful venue in the tranquil heart of the S. Wales countryside, with only carefully selected exhibitors being invited to display their wares and services.

Attendance at all three events was encouraging, suggesting that the current economic gloom is having a less detrimental effect on spending than anticipated when it comes to weddings, although it’s fair to say that clients now expect far more for their money, and are prepared to shop around to find what they want.

The advent of internet shopping has obviously proved to be a great boon to anyone searching for a bargain, and it must prove a great temptation for prospective brides to use it to trim the costs of what can be a very expensive occasion. I would however urge caution, particularly when it comes to services such as that of the Toastmaster… unless you’ve met the person you appoint to organise what is possibly the most important day of your life, you won’t know how good he or she is until that day arrives…by which time it’s too late to change things!

Support your local wedding fayres!

From Iwan
A Wedding Toastmaster at Your Service

What Does A Professional Toastmaster Do At A Wedding? Gain an insight from a profesional wedding toastmaster.

Professional Toastmaster for weddingsYou may think that a Toastmaster is simply employed to arrange the toasts at a wedding but in-fact, the role is extremely important and varied. A professional Toastmaster or Master of Ceremonies plays a huge and highly significant part at a wedding, and one which is vitally important to ensure the smooth running of the day. The Toastmaster can really help to take the pressure off the bride and groom on their wedding day, and deal with those finer details which would often otherwise be forgotten. As such, the Toastmaster has to be an extremely organised individual, with excellent attention to detail.

Initially, the Toastmaster would help with the planning and co-ordination of the wedding, and advise on any areas which may be causing concern or uncertainty to the bride and groom. They would ensure that the bride and groom understand what is expected of them, and the role the Toastmaster would play in the events of the day.

On the day of the wedding, the Toastmaster would meet and greet guests and the bride and groom as they arrive at the reception, and also organise the gifts into an orderly fashion. They would also put the gifts away in a safe area, but one which the wedding party are aware of. It is essential that the photographs from the wedding are special, and as such, the Toastmaster would liaise with the photographer and/or video team, to ensure these turn out as well as possible.

As Master of Ceremonies, the Toastmaster is highly experienced in all aspects of a wedding and as part of their role, they will organise the receiving line, so that the bride and groom speak to everyone as they arrive at the reception. They will also take the bride and groom to their seats, and ensure guests are seated correctly and are content with the arrangements. The Toastmaster will also take responsibility for organising the speeches and toasts, so that they are timed to perfection and everyone is aware of when to take their turn.

Subsequently, the Toastmaster would make the necessary arrangements for the evening event, ensuring that all aspects of it are arranged to suit the requirements of the bride and groom. This may include introducing the DJ and/or band, and helping out with the buffet provisions.

They would also ensure that the gifts, guest-book etc. are taken to the allocated room and everyone is happy and content with the proceedings. The Toastmaster should always be on hand to answer any queries the wedding party may have, and at all times ensure they know exactly what is expected of them.

Fundamentally, the Toastmaster should help the event to flow and ensure time allocations are adhered to throughout the day. They should be friendly and approachable, and help the bride and groom to feel comfortable and happy. As it is such an important day, the Toastmaster will have the necessary knowledge to make it extra special for the happy couple.

From Iwan
A Wedding Toastmaster at Your Service

A Wedding Toastmaster: Do You Need One?

Wedding Toastmaster WalesFor many brides it’s the biggest day of their life with every single aspect of the wedding planned to the smallest detail.

With so many responsibilities they could be forgiven for overlooking a crucial aspect of their wedding breakfast – a toastmaster.

The Master of Ceremonies doesn’t just announce the bride and groom’s entry to a waiting room of relatives and friends and then announce the speechmakers.

They can play a more involved, and indeed invaluable, role.

And while some venues will provide the Toastmaster – usually the venue manager – it would pay dividends to explore the idea of hiring a professional to do the job on the day.

One such Toastmaster is Iwan Jones, a Welsh-speaker who is a very popular choice and also a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters.

He says: “A Toastmaster will help co-ordinate the day for the bride, allowing them to enjoy it without worrying about the smaller details and whether things are running to time.”

As Master of Ceremonies, he or she will also ensure that the guests are welcomed in a professional manner and that they are relaxed and enjoying your day.

Toastmasters are happy to be involved in a wedding, whether large or small, and they will also ensure that the wedding runs according to plan.

Properly trained, they bring something special on what is already a very special day. A wedding Toastmaster will offer advice and support before and during the big day and make sure that every eventuality is covered.

So the toastmaster’s duties are not just restricted to making announcements but they will also bring a wealth of experience from meeting and greeting your wedding guests, to getting your guest book signed.

It’s these important small details that will help make such a big difference to the wedding.

Iwan adds: “Essentially a wedding Toastmaster is seen as a guardian of etiquette and is a long-standing tradition at most royal and formal weddings.

“Indeed, the wedding Toastmaster will wear a traditional grand red tailcoat with all the trimmings which brings a unique presence and formality to the happy couple’s big day.”

With a wedding being so special and so well planned, the question shouldn’t be whether you need a toastmaster for the event but how could you do without one.

Not only will they bring peace of mind that everything is running as it should; they are also professional and friendly and bring a special history to the wedding.

Ultimately, a wedding Toastmaster will take care of the bride and guests, giving the married couple time to relax, an opportunity to enjoy themselves so they have lots of fun on what is their special celebration.

From Iwan
A Wedding Toastmaster at Your Service